Augusto Boal, author of Theatre of the Oppressed, references theatre as a weapon, a way of opening the doors to its spectators, and increasing their awareness of a situation, seeing it at an angle in which they may have never acknowledged before. Drama and its history show the steps different cultures took in modifying its meaning and purpose and further explaining the foundation that these cultures laid down to make drama what it is today. Drama as seen in today's society, highlights some specific events that demonstrate the variety of ways theatrical shows are performed throughout the world and how these performances impact the audience. Augusta Boal once said, "Theatre is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it."
There is little evidence that can concretely show how drama evolved in the first place. Researchers strongly consider that the basic concept travels as far back as the cavemen. It is a strong possibility that cavemen would center themselves around a campfire, each taking turns reenacting the events of a hunt from that day. Researchers believe this gradually took on a more ritualistic meaning and incorporated chanting, dancing and some early forms of music. These enactments were assumed to bring good luck for the hunt of the following day.
Although these conclusions are not factually based, historians pungently feel that due to limited means of communication through language, body movement and dramatization provided a clear gateway to broadcasting a point.The Mediterranean Sea is significantly accredited for the spreading of drama and theatrical performance. Beginning in Egypt, drama was used for celebrations, and as a form of honor to their gods. Evidence of this was discovered in the form of wall paintings and hieroglyphics.
Drama then spread to Greece, where the foundations were laid soon thereafter. The first documentation of theatrical performance was found in Knossos, Crete around fifth century B.C. In Greek culture, drama was used not only as a form of entertainment, but also as a method of educating the public. Plays dealt with immense issues concerning family, war, peace, morality and power. Flamboyant masks and vibrant costumes compensated for the lack of scenery and helped capture the attention of the audience.
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